Monday, November 12, 2012

The Woes of Homemade Pretzels.

What an experience... 

Next time I am craving a soft pretzel in a movie theatre or mall I will be overjoyed to pay $5+ for a piece of bread with salt on top. If you do not bake bread or other treats, I will worn you: this recipe was not easy and was very time consuming. But hey, everything is worth trying at least once. It is truly a miracle that these actually tasted like real pretzels. They may look funny but they are good, almost too good. On Sunday afternoon I headed over to Caitlin's house to watch football and do a little baking. Around 3 pm Caitlin, Laura, and I started this recipe and the pretzels were ready to eat at 530 pm, yep that's right 2 1/2 hours later. We used a recipe I found on pinterest and the rest is history. It would be good to make these for a party or large group because they taste best straight out of the oven. 

Homemade Pretzels

What you need:
- 1 1/2 cups warm water
- 2 tablespoons light brown sugar
- 1 package active dry yeast (2 1/4 teaspoons)
- 3 ounces butter, melted
- 2 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
- 5 cups all-purpose flour
- Vegetable oil
- 3 quarts water
- 3/4 cup baking soda
- 1 whole egg, beaten with 1 tablespoon cold water
- Coarse sea salt

Combine the water, sugar, yeast, and butter in the bowl of a stand mixer and mix with dough hook until combined. Let sit for 5 minutes. Add the salt and flour and mix on low speed until combined. Increase the speed to medium and continue kneading until the dough is smooth and begins to pull away from the side of the bowl, about 3 to 4 minutes. If the dough appears to be too wet, add additional flour. Remove the dough from the bowl, place on a flat surface and knead into a ball with your hands. Oil a bowl with vegetable oil, add the dough and turn to coat with oil. Cover with a clean towel or plastic wrap and place in a warm spot until the dough doubles in size, about an hour. Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Bring the water to a boil in a small roasting pan over high heat and add the baking soda. Remove the dough from the bowl and place on a flat surface. Divide into 8 equal pieces and roll each into long ropes or shapes. Boil the pretzels in the water solution in batches, about 30 seconds. Remove with a large slotted spoon and place on a sprayed baking sheet. Brush the tops with the egg wash and season liberally with salt. Place into the oven and bake for 15 to 18 minutes until golden brown. Add additional toppings immediately after they come out of the oven. 

*** We added garlic salt to them as well, which really made the flavor great***

I was tired of rolling so I used a rolling pin and cut the pretzels into slices. 

 Caitlin was trying to dodge the camera! 

 The L for Laura broke apart but the C for Caitlin and V for Vikings (for her) turned out great.

She also whipped up a batch of almond poppy seed bread with orange glaze. 

For laughs.. This picture is actually from Saturday night. Zach came over for dinner and happens to be a very slow eater. At one point the table was full with all three of us eating. We did all the dishes, cleaned up the kitchen and wiped around him at the table before he finished his plate.